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Winter is Coming- 13 February 2015
As the winter doesn't seem to be leaving us any time soon, we've still got time to savour some great winter seasonals while the cold is still around. Up for discussion, we've got Flying Dog's K9 cruiser, O'Hara's Winter Star and Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice.

K9
Maryland's Flying Dog is known for its quirky beers and this winter seasonal is no different. As with several other winter seasonals, the recipe changes slightly from year to year, so we never really know what we're going to get in the end. What we do know, is that it's a strong, dark ale, brewed to 7.4% ABV. It's got a nice off-white fluffy head and aromas of roasted hazelnuts, fruit cake and plums. The mouthfeel is quite full and just on the pleasant side of syrupy. It finishes with clove spiciness and nice alcohol warmth.

O'Hara's Winter Star is described as a spiced amber ale and features coconut, cinnamon and orange essence. It pours a nice deep copper colour with good sized white head. There's a good dose of cinnamon on the nose with a sweet malty, caramel base. Some citrus is found on the palate from the orange essence with smooth spicy notes on the finish. At 4.3% ABV it's a lighter, more refreshing style than our last beer and a great alternative to the darker, heavier winter styles.

Our last beer comes from California's Anderson Valley. "Winter Solstice" is strong spiced ale, which pours dark amber with a modest, tan head. The nose is quite rich and complex with plenty of ginger, cinnamon, muscovado and dried fruit in abundance. On the palate there's a nutty breadiness which underlies sweet cherry and cinnamon spice. This is the perfect match for a hearty winter stew, and just the thing to warm you up on the last of these cold, winter nights.


Tags :  Winterseasonalbeer
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A Winter's Ale...- 17 December 2013

So the winter is upon us, and with the arrival of the the cold and short days comes that other winter staple; the winter seasonal brew. And we've got three different, but equally wintery, beers to discuss today; Kinnegar's "Longue Tongue Pumpkin Ginger Rye", Moor's "Old Freddy Walker" and Samuel Adam's "Winter Lager".

Kinnegar Long TongueDonegal's Kinnegar brewery have gone with a thanksgiving themed rye ale (not so surprising given it's founder's US heritage) flavored with locally sourced pumpkins and spiced with Ginger and a "hint of cinnamon". It's light amber in colour, not too unlike their regular rye ale Rustbucket, 5.1%abv, and with a foamy head which all Kinnegar's beers seem to feature. The aroma is pure gingernut biscuits with some pepperiness and yes, indeed, a hint of cinnamon. The taste is spicy, sweet and smooth. Medium bodied and quite malty, the roast pumpkin flavor is subtle but nicely infused with caramel and ginger spice. Possibly more a late autumn style but as it's in short supply it won't be around for too long, so try it while it's going.

Moor Old Freddy Walker

There's no doubt that Moor's "Old Freddy Walker" is an ale made for cold winter nights. A 7.4% dark old ale described by themselves as tasting "like liquid Christmas Pudding". They're not far off. This is a deep ruby colored ale which pours to leave a big fluffy, bubbly tan head that flits and flutters in the glass. Treacle and dried fruit aromas jump from the beer and the taste is rich dark chocolate, raisin, prunes, figs and licorice. A seriously complex beer, it's certainly one for the connoisseur to mull over and enjoy by the fire.

Samuel Adams Winter LagerLast up is the Winter Lager from the Samuel Adams Brewery. Not your typical lager, this a 5.6% bock that pours a ruby-red colour and is generously spiced with ginger and cinnamon and flavored with orange peel. The cinnamon is the more dominant spice on the aroma and there's a nice citrus touch from the orange peel. The flavor is spicy ginger and cinnamon, a little zesty, with malty, toffee smoothness on the finish. Well balanced and reliable as usual from Samuel Adams, this is a real go-to beer for these winter months.

These beers won't be around forever so try them soon!

Tags :  Kinnegarlong tonguepumpkinmoorsamsamuel adamswinterbeeralelager